Using Haiku Deck as a Visual Flashcard Generator

Next year, I want to try out a project that involves students using the iOS app Haiku Deck to collaborate on a set of visual flashcards. Haiku Deck is presentation software that makes very quick, very beautiful Keynote-style presentation slides. One key element that is amazing is it searches the text of the slide for related high-quality Creative Commons-licensed images. Here’s one that I made for a professional development session with my colleagues:

Haiku Deck-generated slide with text DIFFERENTIATION THE IPAD GIVES STUDENTS FLEXIBILITY AND CHOICE (original photo here)

Please note the small banner at the bottom of the slide that includes the Creative Commons license and the source of the picture.

Here’s my vision of the project. A student is assigned something: a Latin word, a phrase, a concept. The student then uses Haiku Deck to make two slides. The first is the “front” of the flashcard: it has the Latin word or phrase. The second is the “back” of the flashcard, and it has the Latin as well as the English translation or explanation. The student then shares her slides with the class. Ideally, each classmate would be assigned a different word or phrase, which allows the entire class to split the labor of a long list.

Here’s my example:

Carpe Diem slide (original photo here)

Carpe Diem Seize the Day Slide (original photo here)

I like Haiku Deck for two reasons: it is very simple, and it only searches through Creative Commons-licensed images.

Here are my (potential) problems with what I want to do.

1. Haiku Deck makes lovely images, but I want students to have a single image with the Creative Commons license included. To do this, the current workflow is to make a slidedeck, share it to myself as a presentation that I then email to myself, open in Keynote, play fullscreen, and then screenshot each slide. After I share my presentation to the web, I visit the Haiku Deck website to copy the original photo URL for citation. That is far too many steps for students; maybe Haiku Deck will consider simplifying this someday.

2. I haven’t figured out the best image repository for the students. It needs to be a place that everyone can easily upload to, and everyone can easily pull into their own photo albums. If all my students were over 13, I’d just have them post to a Flickr group, or maybe to Pinterest. But I teach middle school students, so I have to find another solution.

I like this format because it could be used for anything: student-generated study-guide questions and answers; student-written Latin sentences that show vocabulary in context (first slide = vocab word; second slide = sentence using the vocab word). I came up with this as a way to get students to interact with Latin phrases like carpe diem or tabula rasa, but it seems like something that could potentially be expanded into a number of different directions, if I can just figure out how to simplify the workflow.

[[UPDATED TO ADD: The Haiku Deck blog has a very helpful post on tips for classroom use. I hadn’t considered using a single email to create a classroom Haiku Deck account that all the kids use. Might make it easier!.]]

One thought on “Using Haiku Deck as a Visual Flashcard Generator

  1. Hi Bill,
    Excellent use of Haiku Deck in the classroom. These are great suggestions — many of them are in the works. Thank you for your feedback, and for being a teacher! If there’s ever anything you need help with or have more great suggestions on how to make Haiku Deck better, feel free to drop us a line anytime at

    Lisa from Team Haiku Deck

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